Movie Review: “Coming 2 America” 33 years waiting….was it worth it?

30 Second Review!

It was good to see all the original people return! A Supremely talented cast acting out a so-so script. C2A is basically the old plot with new players. The comedy is unbalanced and at times…kinda buffoonish. It tries to do TOO much to make up for the lost time.

FULL REVIEW:

So before the Hater Train leaves the station lol… and before Black Twitter, Bossip, and the United Black Delegation attacks me, let me say that I LOVE the Original movie! John Landis’ 1988 ‘Coming to America’ was a massive success and beloved quotable classic –  a fairy-tale featuring an advanced African culture untouched by colonialism (Wakanda before Wakanda?)

Eddie Murphy’s young Prince Akeem was a pampered Prince of Zamunda exploring the outside world for the first time. The first movie was a mix of ignorant blissful glee… of subtle nuanced jokes mixed with bouts of outrageousness. the comedy timing and direction, all the little side nods and 4th wall breaks were brilliant! Basically, IT WAS PERFECT.

This time around? – Not so much.

Look – I love Eddie Murphy as a comedian, as a filmmaker, as a mogul, and as the maker of many children lol (he has like, 10 so far…). I especially love Eddie Murphy as a Black Man who employs many, many other Black people in Hollywood.

That being said…. I thought this movie was just okay 👌🏽

And hey, despite what the AT&T commercials say – ‘just okay’ is okay! I didn’t HATE it, I just really expected MORE from the 2nd best fictional African country outside of Wakanda 🤷🏽‍♂️😅

But the problem isn’t with THIS movie, per se – the problem is because the original ‘Coming to America‘ was so Dope, when you make an All-Time Classic its hard AF to live up to that.

…Especially 3 decades later. According to Arsenio Hall (Simmi), Eddie never wanted to make this sequel. They should have stuck with that.

C2A tries to do waaaaay too much in short time at the expense of feeling forced, overly stuffed, and with too many ideas. Plus, having a cast of seasoned actors and talented comedians with very little material to go around (Michael Blackson was wasted). At times it comes off outdated and cringey (Imani still hopping and barking? REALLY?? – yeesh)

… and at other times (i hate to say this) – Cartoonish, with sprinkles of buffoonery.  Case in Point: As much as I love and respect Wesley Snipes, maaaan General Izzy, WTF was That?? Smh…

But it wasn’t a TOTAL Hate-Fest lol

Here is what I LIKED about C2A:

The entire original cast returned! Shari Headley (Lisa McDowell/Queen Lisa Joffer) looked AMAZING!

Visually impressive. The costume design definitely topped the original, which itself was very impressive at the time.

Jermaine Fowler, the new actor playing Akeem’s son (Lavell Johnson) was really good.

The ‘My-T-Sharp’ barbershop is STILL the best part of the movie and deserves its own movie! I could listen to them old fools rant for hours! Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate made me laugh out loud.

And Here is what I DIDN’T Like:

30+ years is a loooong time to wait for a sequel. Who was the audience for this movie? Most of us are either dead or hella old lol. I was 13yo when the first one came out. I now have a 19yo in college! LOL

Plot almost exactly like the first movie.

After 33 years Zamunda didn’t seem to change much. It needed more…Wakanda.

Movie felt rushed. One day Akeem discovers he has a son, days later he’s crowning a him the next King of Zamunda. Really??

Was it funny? It had a few funny moments and some funny lines here and there.

Was it heartwarming? Ehh…It was formulaic.

Was it something different and exciting? Not really. the ‘Fish out of Water’ story (Akeem to America) was reversed, sending his bastard son from Queens to Zamunda.

And really interesting… they showed various flashbacks on the original INCLUDING a re-done scene (with DREADFUL digital faces fx. Please stop doing that Hollywood; it looks creepy)

Overall, C2A lacks the charm and innocent ‘fairytale’ whimsy of the first movie. Prince Akeem as a sheltered naif is why the original worked. King Akeem was an out-of-shape, out of touch throwback mimicking his father Joffrey Joffer. This movie tries to remake the original plot with new people and it doesn’t work.

All that being said, ‘Coming 2 America’  isn’t a TOTAL loss; it serves its purpose as a decent ‘Covid-19’ distraction. Something for us to smile about during these awful times. I can’t hate on that!

GRADE:

C+

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